This is the last editorial for the year 2017. It is less than two weeks before the Year 2017 winds off. The health sector has been vibrant, positively and negatively, as usual. A lot of ups and downs, a lot of progress, stand-stills and retrogression… totally eventful!!!

It was in this year 2017 that medical tourism got to become a major front burner, especially since our President got to go for a protracted medical treatment, in far away UK, staying for over 100 days and leaving the reins of the country in the hands of VP Prof Osinbajo, his deputy. Also other high profile Government officials jetted out of the country for medical treatment including a serving Minister of Education and the late icon, former VP Alex Ekwueme.

It is also in this year that the first lady spoke out about the sorry state of Aso Rock Clinic which serves her family, and other officials in the presidency. Even though I hailed her for speaking out, I also thought it was vindictive. Read all about it HERE.

At least Mrs Buhari took action and went on to open a new 50-bed capacity clinic for women in Daura.

Turning away briefly from the government, it was also in this year that West Africa’s Largest Healthcare Event, Medic West Africa, officially added as a partner for the 2017 event. The 3-Days event was quite rich and insightful, with the climax being at the leadership workshop, where health sector leaders espoused on the business side of healthcare. In case you missed my account/experience of the 2017 Medic West Africa Event, then CLICK HERE to know why I am totally thrilled by this event.


After carefully following events in the Nigerian Health space, I have been able to narrow the conversations that top the chart as being topical and for which most families may have been affected. Somehow, if you have been active on social media, for most part of the year, you would agree with me.

Here they are:

1). Health Insurance For All Nigerians:

Never in the history of Nigeria did the issues on health insurance for her residents get to be so ‘heatedly’ debated. The conversation was everywhere. It had seemed the government was totally ready to get this right, with the regulatory body helmsman, taking the war to the Health Maintenance Organizations, HMOs. Prof Usman Yusuf was quite sure that the whole reason why insurance have not gotten to all Nigerians rest solely on the ineptitude of the HMOs. On Live TV he reaffirmed, he agrees that the matter needed to be handled ‘differently. This got him suspended from office.

According to ministry officials, his arrests followed a series of petitions against him; but he fought back… practically calling the Health Minister’s suspension order, a bluff.

For me this period in July, was the most tense period in the health sector, third only to strikes and President Buhari London medical treatment.

The true position on why health insurance have not been totally effective in Nigeria was espoused by the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Sani Aliyu.

With months gone since the whole drama and infighting in the health ministry, a new National Health Insurance Scheme Boss has replaced Prof Usman, I do hope there would be far reaching actions that would amount to getting more Nigerians onto the insurance scheme, for it is long overdue.

2). Centralized Housemanship/Internship Postings:

The next on my chart is on housemanship and internship placement. The story is particularly pathetic.

You know how it is that young medical graduates, immediately after graduation from school, would love to move on to the next step in the training, but would simply get their hopes shattered because they cant move on… for varying reasons. This includes no vacancy, problems of proximity, cultural & religious bias, nepotism, application extortion, management high-handness etc. Nigerian knew it was only a matter of time before it falls apart.

I have a close friend whose medical school was in Ghana’s only private medical school. He confirmed that medical and dental graduate have two years for their housemanship… Junior Houseman and Senior Houseman. It will shock you to know that the government pays for the two years.

So, it was a thing of joy when the government approved a centralized regulation and coordination of posting, payment for medical and dental graduates. Other health disciplines like the pharmacist association have equally called for implementation of the system for their graduates too.

Proponents and agitators for the centralized approach believe it is a great victory. But I know it is not going to easily wipe away the back-log. The impact of this approach would definitely be felt, even though the exact modus operandi still remains unclear, and it does not address the fundamentals… The authority needs to be bold to go the long-haul.

Nigerians, especially the multitude of graduates, keyed into this conversation. This conversation is far from over as more Nigerians join in.

3). NARD Strike – JOHESU Strike:

At the risk of sounding like an over-stressed matter, health sector strikes come in third place. It is now a norm for these strikes to happen every year, taking the status of a yearly ritual. It now seems that the strikes have been reduced to just 2 groups – National Association of Resident Doctors VS Joint Health Sector Unions… a “useless battle for supremacy”

In 2017, the National Association of Resident Doctors launched the strikes, just as the parent body, The Nigerian Medical Association stands by NARD.

In response to the first ‘missile’ from NARD, JOHESU, in her usual and almost predictable stance, responded to the NARD strike, warning the government not to give in to NARD Demands. Then it was the turn of the Administrative Pharmacist of Nigeria joining ranks with JOHESU, to stand against the NARD strike. Soon after, the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy joined in calling out the NARD strike, as illegal.

JOHESU, not long after the Federal Government had resolved the dispute with the NARD, ordered her members to also proceed on an indefinite strike. It lasted for only a week.

Strikes are now first line of action, used to express grievances by health professionals… and Nigerians want this to stop.

4). Nigeria’s Biggest Health Entertainment Event Debuts

On a brighter note, the Nigerian Student Health Professional Contest/Event is the premiere health entertainment platform in the region and is poised to be the largest of the series yet.

Get all the facts and tit-bits of how and why the event is going to be huge…

The event takes place on January 5th, 2018, at the Art Nouveux Event Center, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria and will attract more than 500 health and non-health students/youths as it host over 20 leading health and entertainment experts, suppliers and service providers.

Running along side the Face of DoctorsQuarters beauty pageantry, are carefully selected healthcare activities (like a blood awareness and donation drive) and fashion/entertainment exhibitions.

Tickets are available online on 38Seconds Events App, on Google PlayStore and on App Store

The event is proudly sponsored by Perofak Eye Clinic, Owerri, Imo State

Hope to see you at the event that promises to shape the Health Entertainment Industry.

Follow the event on

It is on this note, on behalf of the entire writers and crew of we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018

Compliments of the Season!!!



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